Apartment owner denies 'western cooking only' was part of the deal

Apartment owner denies ‘western cooking only’ was part of the deal

The owner of two apartments at the centre of a media storm last week about 'western cooking only' has told the Volkskrant that she never made this a condition of renting out a flat. Last week, Iraqi expat Maysaa Munaf, was shocked when she inquired about an apartment at Executive Home Rentals and was told tenants who ‘cook for hours using lots of herbs’ need not apply. ‘If you cook the ‘western way’ we can offer you a viewing on Friday,’ the email said. Munaf shared a screenshot of the offending letter on Facebook post titled ‘In today’s episode of ‘Racism is alive and well’. Executive Home Rentals said the clause was a demand made by the owner because the flat is sensitive to spreading smells. But owner Carolien van den Neste told the Volkskrant: ‘We are very shocked and dismayed by the discriminatory words that were used.’ She and her husband agreed with the agency 'that they would look for a tenant with the profile: expat, single/couple, non-smokers, pets subject to negotiation. There were no other demands whatever,’ she told the paper. On Friday EHR’s director Michel Rootring described the term ‘western style of cooking’ as unfortunate, but continued to insist that it was a demand made by the owners and the neighbours. However, the Volkskrant contacted the owners association (VVE) and found no complaints. 'We've never spoken about cooking within the VVE,' a spokesman for the owners told the paper. 'I'm not happy that we are being blamed for this.' Have you faced discrimination in renting a home in the Netherlands? Send your experiences to editor@dutchnews.nl or leave a comment below.  More >

'Western' food only says housing agency

Apartment owner denies ‘western cooking only’ was part of the deal A housing agency in Amsterdam has said it will only rent out two of its apartments if the tenant cooks ‘western’ food, NOS reports. When Maysaa Munaf, who has been in the Netherlands for a week, inquired about the apartments at Executive Home Rentals she was told tenants who ‘cook for hours using lots of herbs’ need not apply. 'If you cook the 'western way' we can offer you a viewing on Friday,' the email said. Munaf shared screenshot of the offending letter on Facebook post titled ‘In today’s episode of ‘Racism is alive and well’. 'I did not get what I was reading,' she told RTL. 'What is western cooking. Am I only allowed to eat sprouts?' After sending a critical email back to the company, Munaf was told that the company did not mean to be racist, but just wanted to inform her about the situation. It is not clear whether non-Western cooking is a requirement of the agency or the owners of the apartments. Executive Home Rentals director Michel Rootring later told NOS that the apartments are sensitive to smell transfer. The flats are 'not suitable for long sessions of cooking but the word 'western' was an extremely misfortunate choice of worlds,' he said. Earlier this month another Amsterdam housing agency came under fire for trying to rent out a 35 square metre apartment where cooking was banned altogether. My friend moved to Amsterdam and is trying to rent a house. She received this email today. Pls share. #cookingforhourswithherbs pic.twitter.com/gg7eR8la6R — David Poort (@davidpoort) August 10, 2017   More >

Amsterdam Airbnb rules widely flouted

Apartment owner denies ‘western cooking only’ was part of the deal Four in ten Dutch people who rent out their homes via Airbnb do so for more than 60 days a year, Trouw reported on Friday. Joint research with De Tijd, the Süddeutsche Zeitung and Le Monde using scrape sites to check data also show the average cost of a night’s stay in Amsterdam is €171, compared with €106 in Paris and €80 in Berlin and Brussels. In addition, more than a quarter of overnight stays in Amsterdam are booked via agencies which welcome guests, clean the apartments and advertise the property on behalf of owners. Amsterdam plans to strictly enforce the 60 day limit from this autumn and many other cities have also introduced a similar deal, Trouw says. (Trouw, page 3)  More >

Apartment rents rise faster outside cities

Apartment owner denies ‘western cooking only’ was part of the deal The rent for 'free sector' homes in the Netherlands is rising faster outside the big cities, according to a report by leading property rental platform Pararius released on Thursday. Rents rose by an average 10% in the smaller cities while in the big western urban agglomeration known as the Randstad rents rose an average of 4.3% in the second quarter of 2017, Pararius said. But prices in the northern province of Groningen shot up 17% in the period while those in the newest province Flevoland chalked up a 23% increase. The increase was not unexpected, said Pararius director Jasper de Groot: 'The limits have been reached in many areas with very high rents. A lot of tenants are giving up and looking elsewhere, outside the city.' De Groot expects the trend toward higher rents to continue  throughout the country. 'Demand continues to increase and the structural shortage of good housing grows wider,' he said.  More >

Landlord bans cooking in Amsterdam flat

To rent in Amsterdam: a studio flat where cooking is banned A studio apartment is being offered for rent for €1100 a month in Amsterdam on the condition that the tenant does not cook and no more than two people are in the flat at the same time. The 35 square meter flat is located in the city's Jordaan district and was spotted by RTL news, which attempted to track down the landlord to find out more about the ban on cooking. The English language description of the flat states it has a private bathroom and private kitchen. 'The kitchen is fully equipped, except for a cooking plate. Cooking is explicitely [sic] not allowed in this apartment due to regulations,' the advert said. Nevertheless, the photographs clearly show a hob. Estate agent Stone Capital has promised to update RTL on why the landlord has banned cooking. The shortage of housing in the Dutch capital has led to other extreme examples. In April, a studio apartment on Amsterdam’s desirable Prinsengracht, measuring just 15 square metres, was sold for over €150,000.  More >